Jenny Woo Does Poker Pro Vanessa Rousso

Written by:
Jenny Woo
Published on:
Vanessa Rousso

I had the chance to sit down with someone you all are very familiar with and whom I've always enjoyed interviewing.  Vanessa Rousso seems to be busier than ever in 2010 and she doesn't show any signs of slowing down. On April 5th Vanessa's boot camp, Big Slick Boot Camp will be in New Hampshire for this successful poker player sharing her winning techniques to poker enthusiasts. She's already had many winning success stories with her students and there's no doubt that there will be several more this year.  With so much going on in her schedule including high stakes poker tournaments of her own and televised shows, I truly believe that her biggest passion is teaching what she's been able to conquer - poker.  Read my interview with this beautiful and highly talented player to see what you can get from Big Slick Boot Camp as well as Vanessa's upcoming events.

JENNY:  It's been a while since we last spoke but things were really booming for you and Big Slick Boot Camp.  Where have you been with that?  And what's happening in New Hampshire on April 5th?

VANESSA:  Big Slick Boot Camp has been up and running for over a year now, and it has been a great success for me and my family.  For those who don't know, it is a family run business--my mom and step dad set up the events and handle registrations and marketing while I teach the camps.  

In the last year we have had over ten events in the Southeast US in cities like Biloxi (twice), Tampa, Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Daytona, and Fort Lauderdale.  We have also begun offering individual private coaching services, which has become very popular with our students. Ultimately, since we have grown so much over the last year, we recently re-launched a completely redesigned website (people can check it out at  

Finally, we have an event in New Hampshire coming up April 5th (6pm-Midnight, $299) on the topic of Poker Tournament Theory.  This should be a nice event since it is within driving distance of the Mohegan Sun where the NAPT is hosting its second event during the same time period.  So we expect some of the NAPT players to make the drive out for the camp to brush up on their skills before the main event.

JENNY:  What are you expecting as far as the turn out in NH with the NAPT being so close?

VANESSA:  We will have at least 25 people there...but we are shooting for 40 which would be a nice turnout with so little time to market the event.

I've said this before but I just don't know how you fit everything into your schedule.  Has anything taken a backseat due to the success of the boot camp?  Or have you been pretty much staying on coarse with tourneys, TV work and personal coaching?

I try to stay on top of things, luckily I have a great assistant and manager who keep me on the ball!

JENNY:  You've had several success stories with many of the students that attended your boot camp later cashed in tournaments with one being in the WSOP Main Event last year.  Has that brought in more attendance to Big Slick Boot Camp?

VANESSA:  Definitely! Check out the testimonials section on our website to read some of our success stories.

JENNY:  How rewarding is to you when you find out that one of your students cashed in a tournament?  And do you ever keep in touch with any of them?

VANESSA:  I have kept in touch with several of my students over time and some have even become friends of mine.  It is very rewarding to see them succeed after they attend my camp--it's hard to describe, but it's sort of a ‘hey, I helped them do that!' kind of feeling. :)

JENNY:  What else is going on for Big Slick Boot Camp and can people go to to get the most current schedule and all the up to date information?

VANESSA:  The next few months will be very exciting for us. After the NH event, on April 28th we will be hosting the first PokerStars-partnered Luxury Ladies Camp in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  We are launching a series of events focusing on women at various PokerStars events around the world, and this will be the first of them.  Ladies who are interested in qualifying (for free or as little as $7!) for a package that includes seat, transportation, and hotel, can play the satellites available on PokerStars under the EPT/Events tab. Players can also buy in directly using FPPs on PokerStars or on the Big Slick website for $399 (camp only, no transportation/hotel).

Finally, July 5th will be our first ‘Main Event Prep Camp', focusing on the WSOP main event and how to prepare to tackle that particular tournament.  This camp will cost $399 for the day, and we already have over 30 people registered for the event so I expect a great turnout!

JENNY:  As for you, do you have any tournaments coming up?  Do you have any TV opportunities coming up as well?

VANESSA:  I will be playing the NAPT main event at the Mohegan Sun in a few weeks.  Then I will head to Europe to film a French PokerStars commercial and play in the San Remo and Monte Carlo main events on the EPT circuit.  After that, it is back home to Vegas for the SCOOPS on PokerStars and to play in an exciting new televised poker event. I can't say anything more than that for now, but I will say we are playing for the biggest buy-in I've ever laid out!

JENNY:  What are you expecting for 2010 when it comes to the boot camp, personal coaching, and your own poker ventures?  And do you expect it to be even crazier than 2009.

VANESSA:  With everything we have going on, I'd say the boot camps are already lining up to be even more successful in 2010 than we were in 2009.  As for my own play, I started the year out right by winning the PCA Ladies 1K event in the Bahamas.  Since then, I've cashed in 2 main events (the NAPT in Vegas and the LAPC in LA) and both times had a good shot at going the distance.  So, I think I'm on track to continue with the success that I had in 2009 (although it might be tough to beat the 1.4Million I made last year!).  I also am focusing on finishing my game theory strategy book as a major goal for this year.  

JENNY:  Lastly I have to know, how's the Lamborghini treating you? And have you even had any time to enjoy it?

VANESSA:  I LOOOOOOOOVE my car! People shouldn't be allowed to love their car like I love's not normal.  :) But, then again, I guess I gave up normalcy a long time ago!


Jenny Woo, Senior International Correspondent